Super Castlevania IV review - Super Nintendo

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Super Castlevania IV box artA century of Transylvanian tranquility is about to come to a shocking end. Once again the mortifying screams of helpless villagers shake the ground as they huddle against new nightmarish horrors unleashed by the Duke of Darkness, Count Dracula. And this time he has a tombstone with your name on it, Simon Belmont.

You must descend into the castle of the undead and its gruesome grounds. Inside, a freshly dug 11 level maze awaits you. Use your whip like a grappling hook and swing past hundreds of traps and a host of enemies. Find the concealed weapons needed to defeat everything from eerie phantoms to haunted furniture. Then prepare to find yourself face-to-thing with hideous bosses. But forge on, Simon Belmont, because if you thought Dracula was down for the count, he’s only begun to fright!

Super Castlevania IV is a highlight of Konami’s popular Castlevania series. Enjoy some of the finest platform action on the Super Nintendo.

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" For the first few levels, Castlevania crips its way along like a sad excuse for a game and the whole thing seems a huge disappointment. Get through them, though and this view changes quickly! Some of Castlevania's backgrounds and enemy sprites are fabulous, with lots of scenery rotation and other tricks the Famicom is now famous for, but what really save Castlevania is the difficulty packed into the later levels. Suddenly things get a lot harder, but not frustratingly so, and it all becomes very addictive. Castlevania IV would never make it as an arcade game, it just doesn't have that instant grab factor, but if you're willing to persevere Castlevania is a must. "

" When I first sat down and played this, I thought it was a bit dull. On the first few screens there's nothing much threatening you, and it's just a case of trolling around the platform landscape disposing of the odd slow-moving baddie who pops up. However, once you get past the first guardian things start to warm up with hordes if aggressors and some devilishly tricky screen layouts to test your platform skills to their limits. The graphics are superb, with heaps of neat touches, and the music is astounding – heaps of truly stunning creepy tunes which work perfectly with the visuals to create an incredibly spooky atmosphere. It's a game with loads of levels, and it takes a lot of skill to get all the way through it, even with the continues and password system! If you're after one of the finest platform games around, look no further than Castlevania IV! "


Overall Score93%

Retrospective comments


Every now and then you play a game that simply changes your life. To me, Castlevania IV is that game. I recall playing it at a friend's house and regardless of the slow pace of the first few levels, it had a real impact on me. The game was quickly purchased and hasn't left my collection since. Before I played CVIV, I'd not really given the franchise much attention (not owning a NES didn't help), but afterwards I became a rabid fan and have played nearly every entry. Konami really pulled out all the stops with this title - graphically the game is majestic - often understated in parts but mind-blowing impressive in others (I need not mention the rotating tunnel section at this point I'm sure!). However, the most amazing part of the game in my opinion is the music. Up to this point I'd been used to the rather primitive sonics of the Megadrive. CVIV made it sound like there was a full orchestra hidden inside the SNES! I recently purchased the soundtrack on CD and it is listened to on a regular basis. Although Konami bettered this with the stunning Playstation release 'Symphony of the Night', this is still the best 'traditional' Castlevania game, and one of the finest action platform titles on the machine. Essential.

George - 08 Jun 2008, 22:03 GMT

All of Castlevania games are overrated... except Symphony of the Night!

asad - 10 Mar 2009, 14:44 GMT

I couldn't agree more with Damo, initially the game starts off looking a bit slow and grim, but the music is what keeps you going from the start. Then when the game opens up its a tour de force of brilliant visuals, excellent sprite rotation and parallax scrolling, superb audio and some fine action platforming, which really hasn't been bettered since. I know Symphony of The Night gets more praise, but this came first and Symphony is a CD ROM game. Castlevania IV is easily the best in the series alongside Symphony on Playstation and Akumajao Dracula on PC Engine.

Dan - 11 Mar 2009, 14:25 GMT

There's games and then......there are games, Castlevania 4 is not only a game, it is a work of genius. Konami were a fantastic games developer hitting their peak around this period and CV4 is the by product of all their hard work and talent. Absolutely EVERYTHING about the game is amazing (OK, so some of the graphics were a bit poo, but that's it), the sound was immense and so good it prompted a CD give away of just the soundtrack, the gameplay was so mint, the level design was just perfect and kept you coming back time and time again, and the bosses....ooohhh those sexy bosses.

This games is one of the best ever, the lads were a bit harsh on it for taking a while to ease you into the gameplay, for me it's a 95%er+ every time.

Harry - 31 Mar 2010, 17:25 GMT

Im sorry but this is THE BEST Castlevania game in the series. Yes Symphony is good but this is more much more atmospheric.

aznkhmerboi - 13 Sep 2010, 01:22 GMT

played some of the series but not this one. Recently just purchased it now im gonna give it a go see if you guys are on par with your reviews ;)

Colchester - 02 Nov 2010, 15:52 GMT

I never understood their comments on the slow start - the first 20 seconds are slow before you get into the castle, but thats hardly a problem! I thought some of the later levels were a bit ropey on the graphics to be honest. I guess when they say 'later', they probably got excited over the mode 7 spinning barrel background level... :)

captainfalcon - 05 Jul 2011, 17:35 GMT

Best castlevania game by a mile.The structure of the game is well balanced .Atmosphere is its true strength , Outstanding music and effects. Yes graphics in places are average but overall a good standard.This game is a true classic .
I never tired of this title .

DAMIEN DARK - 18 Jan 2013, 03:21 GMT


 Mean Machines Issue 16 - January 1992
Platform Game Super Nintendo
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Super Castlevania IV

Super Castlevania IV

Super Castlevania IV

Super Castlevania IV

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